Unfortunately for humans, the most aggressive mosquito in the world is also the most invasive.
The tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), also known as the forest day mosquito, is characterized by its distinctive black-and-white striped markings and highly aggressive demeanour. The males are generally smaller than the females, which can reach up to an impressive (well, in the mosquito world at least) 10 mm. Of course, it’s the females who bite and they do so aggressively during the day, easing off at night but never giving up!
Over the last 30 years, tiger mosquitoes have spread rapidly from their native tropical forests of Asia to almost every continent in the world, making them one of the world’s most invasive species of animal. In tropical and subtropical regions, tiger mosquitoes are active all year round but, in cooler, temperate regions, they hibernate in the winter. You could say that they’re tiny but resilient!
However, this tiny assailant poses a big risk to human health.
In its best case, being bitten by a tiger mosquito is mildly irritating and leaves you with an itchy, red, swollen bite. However, people can suffer from severe allergic reactions including nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure and, vary rarely, anaphylactic reactions. To make matters worse, tiger mosquitoes are important carriers of viral diseases such as Yellow fever, Dengue fever, Chikungunya fever and Zika virus.
- Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease, currently without specific treatment. The "yellow" in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients. Each year, worldwide, there are an estimated 200 000 cases of yellow fever causing 30 000 deaths, with 90% occurring in Africa.
- Dengue is a viral infection found worldwide in tropical and sub-tropical climates. The infection causes flu-like symptoms and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. An estimated 500 000 people with severe dengue require hospitalisation each year.
The Chikungunya and Zika viruses are generally not as dangerous as Dengue or Yellow fever but both have epidemic properties and, sometimes, serious complications occur. In 2005-2006, the Asian tiger mosquito was responsible for a Chikungunya epidemic on the French Island of La Réunion which infected over 260,000 people, 248 of which died.
At PARA’KITO™, we believe you have the right to enjoy nature free from the discomfort and risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. So, don’t let yourself be hunted by a tiny tiger in aerial pursuit – stock up on our Natural Mosquito Repellent Products.